Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Change In Occupation

For over forty years, I practiced medicine. In that time, first in private practice and then as a professor at a prestigious medical center, I looked at myself as a physician. The facets of my occupation included patient care, surgery, writing, lecturing, teaching--but when asked my occupation, I replied, "Physician."

My first wife, Cynthia, died less than a month after she retired. We were set to move to some acreage we'd bought and enjoy the time we had left together. But God had other plans. The result of her death was the publication of  the book that came out of my journaling: The Tender Scar: Life After The Death Of A Spouse. And at a writers' conference (the first of many I attended) came a challenge to try my hand at fiction. As I've said before, after four years spent writing or rewriting four books that garnered forty rejections, I got my first contract. Now I've had ten novels of medical mystery published by traditional houses, plus self-publishing two (soon to be three) novellas.

After a decade, the publishers of The Tender Scar decided to print a second edition, which will be out soon. I didn't want to change a word from the first edition, but I have included an additional chapter, one on the blended family. As always, I hope the book continues to minister.

I still haven't come to terms with my switch in occupations, but I suppose that when pressed I'd give a qualified answer: I'm a retired physician, now writing. Some would say my story bears out the adage, "Man proposes, God disposes." I prefer to look at it this way: "God doesn't make bad things happen--but He can use even the worst of them for His purposes."

What about you? Have you experienced an unexpected turn in your life? How did that work out? I'd like to hear.

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4 comments:

Patricia Bradley said...

I have. After my husband died, I decided to try and finish the two novels I had been working on for years. I thought it was what God was calling me to do, but somewhere in the middle of it all, doors opened for me to work in the abstinence program with teens. For seven years I didn't have a creative fiction thought. Not until the grant I worked on was winding down and one day the image of a woman popped into my mind. She told me her name was Taylor and someone was trying to kill her.

God had released me to go back to my beloved murder stories. :-)

Richard Mabry said...

Patricia, isn't it amazing how God directs our paths, even when we don't really realize it? Glad you're back writing Christian fiction. Thanks for your comment.

Paula said...

I'm so glad both of you are writing. Love all your books and enjoy chatting with you!

Richard Mabry said...

Thanks, Paula. I appreciate that.